J. J. Barea is a Puerto Rican National Basketball Association championship winner with the Dallas Mavericks. The Northeastern University star player equaled, broke, and set a number of his school records before becoming only the seventh Puerto Rican to ever play in the NBA when he joined the Mavs in 2006. He further became the second player from his country to ever win the Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2011.
The 2018 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award recipient, who had a three-year spell with the Minnesota Timberwolves in between two stints with the Mavs, is also a multiple gold medal winner at the Central American and Caribbean Games as well as at the Pan American Games with the Puerto Rican national team.
J. J. Barea, whose full birth name is José Juan Barea Mora, was born on the 26th of June, 1984 in Mayagüez, the eighth-largest municipality in Puerto Rico. Details about his life before he took up senior high school basketball at Miami Christian School are sketchy, but it is reported that he began playing basketball at a competitive level in 2001 with his hometown professional basketball team called Indios de Mayagüez.
After transferring to Miami Christian School, Barea in his only recorded year of high school basketball, averaged 20 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals, helping the team to a 38-2 record and the state title. After graduating, J. J. Barea attended Northeastern University where he carried on with performances that earned him rave reviews in high school.
In his freshman year, he averaged 17.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.9 steals per games in 28 games which led to him being named to the third-team All-AEC and AEC All-Rookie team. In his sophomore year, he earned first-team All-AEC honors after averaging 20.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game in 26 games. Barea again earned first-team All-AEC honors as he was also named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award after averaging 22.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game in 30 games.
In his final collegiate season in, J. J. Barea raked in awards from every corner as he was named CAA Player of the Year and was selected to the First-team All-CAA, among many other honors. He averaged 21.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 8.4 assists per game in 29 games which culminated in making him his school’s second all-time leading scorer and assister.
Despite all his achievements, J. J. Barea went undrafted in the 2006 NBA Draft. He then chose to go through the Las Vegas Summer League route where teams usually try out their players who usually would not make it to the starting team. Barea first played five games for the Golden State Warriors before suiting up for the Dallas Mavericks for three games. By the time the competition was done, the Mavericks snapped him up in a multi-year deal and the rest became history.
Does J. J. Barea have a Wife or Girlfriend?
J. J. Barea does indeed have a wife. He married his girlfriend of three years, actress, model, and beauty pageant winner Viviana Ortiz, on the 20th of August 2016 at a lavish ceremony that had guests arrive coordinatedly in black Mercedes-Benz buses to the church of the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Viviana Ortiz began dating her basketball beau in the summer of 2013. Before meeting him, she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelors degree in telecommunications from the Sacred Heart University of Puerto Rico. The 5 feet 9 1⁄2 inches tall beauty then went on to compete as Miss Corozal at the 2011 Miss Universe Puerto Rico pageant which she won. She then represented the country at that year’s Miss Universe pageant but only managed a Top 16 finish.
A few months before they walked down the aisle, Barea and Ortiz welcomed their first child together; a daughter named Paulina Barea Ortiz, born on the 31st of March 2016. Barea has another child named Sebastián José Barea Rivera who was born on the 17th of February, 2012, from a previous relationship with another actress, model, and beauty pageant winner, Zuleyka Rivera, who was crowned both Miss Puerto Rico and Miss Universe in 2006.
Height, Weight, Body Stats
J. J. Barea weighs 78 kg (173 pounds). His actual height, however, has been a bone of contention in the NBA as the association has listed him as 6 feet 0 inches (1.83 m) even though one can clearly tell that he is shorter than that. According to another report, he is said to be 5 feet 11 inches (1.8 m) while another says he is 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m), which from all indications seems more plausible.